CHAKAN (PUNE): After the recent tie-up with Jalandhar-based (Punjab) company Sutlej Motors for building bodies for its inter-city buses, Mercedes Benz India will be setting up a facility within its premises at Chakan, near Pune in Maharashtra to build the body for its range of intra-city buses that will be launched in the third quarter of 2011.
The company plans to set-up a dedicated assembly line that will cater to the production requirements of the city buses as well as the already available 2-axle and 3-axle inter-city luxury coaches. Mercedes-Benz also indicated their plan to offer integrated body-building facility for the city buses housed out of their present premises at Pune.
While Sutlej would be building bodies for the company’s inter-city buses, the company will go with Egypt-based MCV for its city buses. The company is the body building partner for the majority of Daimler buses worldwide.
A product clinic with two Mercedes Benz buses, one with a low floor and the other with a semi-low floor, will start later this month.
The market for high-end city buses is lucrative. It is estimated at approximately 500 units per annum and expected to grow by 20 per cent each year. Mercedes-Benz India sees a potential in this niche market and as such plans to offer with solutions that are been successfully operated in similar operating conditions in other parts of the world. The company now plans to conduct product clinics and fine tune the buses to the specific needs of Indian city bus operators. Mercedes-Benz has already imported a low floor and a semi-low floor city bus for the product clinic.
“Mercedes-Benz is the inventor of the first bus in the world and ever since, we have pioneered innovations that have revolutionized motorized public transport. In India, our 2- and 3-axle luxury coaches have been received very well. We would now like to expand into the city buses segment. To create a bus suited to the exact requirements of the users, it is essential to understand our customer needs: our trial buses will achieve this objective.” commented Dr. Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India.
With improving infrastructure and growing urban vehicle population, the need for safe, reliable and robust mass transit system is imminent in India. Mercedes-Benz city buses with their superior quality, dynamic design, robust build, star comfort and globally proven city buses will be targeted to satisfy such needs of urban mobility.
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